Genetically Modified Plants are the plants, whose genes have been manipulated /altered. It can enhance the nutritional value of food crops.
- Golden Rice, a nutritionally modified crop was developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
- It is rich in Pro-vitamin A (β-carotene).
- It was developed as a means for alleviating Vitamin A deficiency in the diets of poor people, since the traditional varieties of rice did not produce enough Pro-vitamin A.
- It contains β-carotene gene from daffodil plant and one bacterial gene.
- The genetic manipulation to produce Golden Rice required the introduction of three genes encoding the enzymes - Carotene desaturase, Lycopene -β-cyclase and Phytoene synthase.
- The grains of golden rice appear golden-yellow in colour due to the presence of Pro-vitamin A.
- Golden rice has solved the problem of night blindness which resulted due to deficiency of Vitamin A, especially in children.